This Cavatelli Meatball Bake is a must-try pasta bake dish. It has lots of ingredients, making it so flavourful! I did my sauce and let it simmer for a few hours. You can, of course, use a jar of sauce if you like, but I prefer to make my own.
Cavatelli Meatball BakePrint Recipe
- Pasta Ingredients
- 4 pounds of Cavatelli
- 2 pounds of Ricotta Cheese
- ¼ cup of Locatelli cheese
- 6 cups of mozzarella cheese (3 cups for the ricotta mixture and the rest for the top of the bake)
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- ¼ cup of fresh parsley, chopped
- Meatballs Ingredients
- 2 pounds of meatloaf mix (pork, veal, and beef)
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup of Locatelli cheese
- ¾ cup of seasoned bread crumbs
- ¼ loaf of Fresh Italian bread, cubed
- Olive oil
- 1 cup of Chianti
- Cut ¼ loaf of fresh Italian bread into little cubes and put in a medium-sized bowl.
- Put 1 cup of Chianti wine and stir bread until it is completely saturated in the wine. Add more if needed. Feel free to take a glass for yourself.
- Add the meatloaf mix, eggs, cheese, bread crumbs, and the wine-soaked bread cubes in a larger bowl. Using your hands, mix the ingredients all together.
- If you do not want to make meatballs, you can brown up the meat in a large skillet instead.
- Heat oven to 425 degrees and start rolling the meatballs into balls. Coat a large cookie sheet with olive oil.
- Roll the balls in the oil to thoroughly coat. Place in the oven, cook for 10 to 15 minutes, and turn over and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove them from your oven and carefully add them to the sauce. Let simmer in the sauce for 30 to 40 minutes.
- Turn the water to boil and start making the ricotta mix. Add Ricotta, beaten eggs, parsley, Locatelli cheese, salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl. Mix well and add 3 cups of mozzarella cheese. Mix until well blended. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Once the water is boiling, add the 4 pounds of Cavatelli. Watch it carefully as they cook quickly, and you want them to be al dente. They will start to float up to the top. Drain and put the drained pasta back in the pot with some sauce to coat the Cavatelli.
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and using a large lasagna pan (or two smaller pans), coat the bottom with sauce and then add a layer of Cavatelli, a layer of meatballs; I cut them in half, so they take up less room. (If you browned the meat instead of making meatballs, layer that over the Cavatelli.
- Now layer the ricotta mixture, then another layer of Cavatelli and mozzarella on the top. Cover with aluminium foil. I spray the aluminium foil with olive oil nonstick spray, so the cheese doesn’t stick to the foil. It is a good idea to put a cookie sheet under your lasagna pan in case of drips.
- Bake for 90 minutes and then take the foil off and cook for another 10 minutes or until the cheese starts to brown on top. Remove from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes to cool down and set. Serve in pasta bowls with fresh Italian bread.